I have never peaked a mountain by foot in my life.
Roys Peak in Wanaka was the first (real!) mountain that I ever peaked.
Now, for some people, reaching the top of some mountain may seem insignificant. Some people make it a goal to go hiking every week. Others just don’t see value in putting their own bodies through such torture. Despite being on ongoing goal of mine, I always made excuses for myself.
Since we were overseas, and it was Ivan’s birthday, we agreed as a group that it would be worthwhile.
But I personally had one clear motivator: snow. From the foot of the mountain I could see the white tip and just knew that I needed to make it all the way. Yes, people from Australia squeal at the slightest sign of snow (or maybe it’s just me?).
Climbing the mountain was definitely tough in the moment. Even just taking the next step up sometimes felt like pure torture, and there were many times we all wanted to give up. One friend got injured, another got lost, and the rest of us were just hanging on to the thought of eating our tuna sandwiches at the top. The view felt monotonous, since the path only wrapped up one side of the mountain.
But boy, was it worth it.
This is the only shot I was able to take at the very top. My feet were dangling over the cliff and I was absolutely terrified due to the strong winds.
There were some pretty narrow paths that we literally had to climb up on all fours since the wind was so strong and the ice was so slippery.
Here’s a shot of the birthday boy pretending to be Elsa.
There was a lower lookout that most people, including some of our group, chose to rest, take photos and turn back.
You could see the whole town of Wanaka and the vast beauty of Lake Wanaka, all pinned against the backdrop of snow-capped mountains.
And….surprise!!! I bumped into a friend at the peak! Such a mystery, but it must be fate.
This was definitely a day for the books.
I hope to never forget the sense of pride and accomplishment I felt that day, and never forget that if you keep taking one little step at a time, you’ll get to the peak someday.